Oliver Olsen

Olsen: Voters sent a clear message on Election Day

Thanks for your support on Election Day. I am honored to have been elected to serve as my district's next representative.

The election was stunning in many ways. A number of Democrats in the Legislature (including the chair of the House Committee on Health Care) were defeated, and no candidate for governor received an outright majority of the vote.

For the second time in my legislative career, I will be part of a process where the Legislature chooses our next governor. Here in Vermont, if no candidate for governor receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the incoming Legislature chooses the governor.

Traditionally, the Legislature votes for the person who received a plurality (i.e., the most votes) and the practice is regarded as something of a formality.

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Three ‘wildly inaccurate’ health care numbers

Kudos to Olga Peters for her in-depth reporting of local elections around our region this year. After reading the recent article about the race for state representative in my legislative district [“Candidates vie to fill Olsen's Legislature seat,” News, Oct. 17], I picked up on a comment attributed to...

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Nature’s fury hits home for state legislator

The scars — both physical and emotional — are constant reminders of what happened that morning

It is hard to believe, but a year has passed since Tropical Storm Irene ravaged our community. Aug. 28, 2011 is a day that will forever be etched in our memory. We all remember the great tragedies of our lifetime. We remember where we were and what we were...

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Toward fairness and simplicity

Along with two of my colleagues from the Ways & Means Committee, Rep. Jim Condon, a Democrat from Colchester, and Rep. Adam Greshin, an independent from Warren, I recently introduced a comprehensive education finance reform bill. At a high level, the bill proposes to make the following changes to the system that finances Vermont's K-12 education: • Replace the current variable residential education property tax rate with a much-lower fixed residential property tax rate that would be uniform across the...

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Smart Grid makes smart sense

If you have read the newspaper or listened to the radio recently, chances are that you have heard the Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) commercials for something called “Smart Power,” which is how CVPS has branded their implementation of what is known as smart grid technology. Over the next year, we can expect to hear a lot about the smart grid, including smart metering. Several of Vermont's utilities, including CVPS and Green Mountain Power, are working on a multi-year effort...

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State should seek better outcomes from food stamp program

A local grocer recently shared with me the story of a customer who purchased a 12-pack of soda, a two-liter bottle of soda, and four candy bars with a food stamp card. There was not a single item of nutritional value in this customer's shopping cart, yet it was all perfectly legal to purchase with food stamps. Clearly, we must promote better nutrition with our food stamp program. The food stamp program, known as the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)

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